Statement on the Retirement of Dr. William T. Riley

  • December 16, 2021

For Media Inquires:
Elyse Bailey, Director of Public Affairs, (202) 842-3525

Washington, D.C. — The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) and its member associations congratulate Dr. William T. Riley, Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on his upcoming retirement and express our deeply felt gratitude for his 16 years of public service.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Riley has worked to amplify the contributions of behavioral and social science research (BSSR) to improving health for all. In particular, during his tenure as Director of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) starting in 2015, Dr. Riley ensured these sciences were integrated into research across the NIH’s Institutes and Centers, helping to shed light on the human dimensions of health.

Dr. Riley has also been a valued partner and conduit between NIH leadership and the external research community. Despite the many demands on his attention and his active collaboration with other federal agencies across the government, Dr. Riley was never too busy to engage in meaningful, impactful conversations with the extramural research community, whether patiently listening to concerns, raising new opportunities, or collectively strategizing ways to best promote our sciences. His receptiveness, generosity, and candor exemplify public service and the behavioral and social science research enterprise is stronger because of his leadership.

COSSA wishes Dr. Riley the very best in his retirement and thanks him for his many years of leadership in the social and behavioral sciences.

Read the statement.


The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to promote sustainable federal funding for social and behavioral science research and federal policies that positively impact the conduct of research. COSSA serves as a united voice for a broad, diverse network of organizations, institutions, communities, and stakeholders who care about a successful and vibrant social science research enterprise. The COSSA membership includes professional and disciplinary associations, scientific societies, research centers and institutes, and U.S. colleges and universities.

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